While hiking the hills at Pinckney State Recreation Area near Chelsea, Michigan a few weeks ago, I came across a stretch of trail hosting wreath goldenrod (Solidago caesia, Asteraceae). Unlike the other goldenrod species I often see in old fields and meadows here in southeast Michigan, wreath goldenrod is a woodland species. It’s most commonly found on the slopes of upland forests in eastern North America.
Wreath goldenrod gets its common name from the thick leaves and clusters of small flowers that grow along the entire lengths of the stems. It’s also frequently called bluestem goldenrod because the stems themselves usually have a blue or bluish-purple tint.